Cahill Remote Observing Facility Users Manual

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					Cahill Remote Observing Facility User’s Manual
V 3.0.3 6 July 2009 RSW & AFB




Table of Contents
Cahill Remote Observing Facility User’s Manual.........................................................1

Table of Contents.......................................................................................................1

Introduction................................................................................................................ 3

Cahill Building Layout.................................................................................................4

  Cahill First Floor Layout...........................................................................................4

Cahill Remote Observing Facilities Guidelines............................................................5

  Scheduling a Remote Observing Session................................................................5

  ROF Demo Appointments........................................................................................5

  Accessing the Remote Observing Facilities Rooms.................................................6

Pre-Observing (Daytime & Nighttime) Tests & Coordination......................................7

Using ROF Videoconferencing Equipment...................................................................8

Keck Remote Observing via VNC..............................................................................10

  Starting a Remote Instrument Control VNC Session..............................................10

  Starting a Keck Remote Telescope Monitoring VNC Session.................................12

  Retrieving Data from Keck....................................................................................13

  Ending a Remote Observing Session.....................................................................14

  Keck Interferometer Remote Observing................................................................14

Useful Information....................................................................................................16

  Random Remote Observing Resources.................................................................16

  Relevant Remote Observing Links.........................................................................17

  Keck I and II Observing Limits...............................................................................18

                                                                                                                            1
Contact Numbers/Polycom IPs...............................................................................19

Miscellaneous........................................................................................................20

  Time Difference:.................................................................................................20

  Fire Alarm:..........................................................................................................20

  What to do if you get Locked Out of the Remote Observing Facilities:..............20

Document Change Log..........................................................................................22




                                                                                                                       2
Introduction

Caltech Astronomy and Caltech Optical Observatories maintain remote
observing facilities in the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics on
the campus at Caltech. These facilities were developed and are typically
used to support remote observing with the Keck Telescopes in Mauna Kea HI,
operated by the WM Keck Observatory(WMKO).
The Caltech Remote Observing Facilities (ROF) are in rooms 118 (ROF1) and
144 (ROF2), on the first floor in Cahill (see the first-floor Cahill plan drawing
in the next section). The Cahill ROF are administered by Caltech Optical
Observatories (COO); reservations for the use of the ROF are handled
exclusively by COO, and should be booked at least two weeks in advance to
coordinate user support, and to avoid possible room conflicts.
Remote observing with the Cahill ROF and the Keck Telescopes is largely due
to the development efforts of Caltech’s Judy Cohen, and UC Santa Cruz’s
Robert Kibrick, whose vision and dedication have made Keck remote
observing a reality all across the Keck consortia: at Caltech, Santa Cruz,
Berkeley, UCLA, Irvine, other campuses in the UC system, and the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory.




                                                                                    3
Cahill Building Layout


Cahill First Floor Layout




Figure 1: Cahill First Floor Layout

The Cahill ROF are in 118 and 144 Cahill, located near the center of the Cahill first
floor (in Figure 1 above, the ROF locations are labeled near the center of the
building). Access to Cahill is through the Front/NE Entrance (top right above), and
restroom facilities are at the East end of the floor. Electronic key cards are need at
all times after 6pm Pacific time to access the front and hall doors (see 2c. Accessing
the Remote Observing Facilities Rooms for more details).




                                                                                     4
Cahill Remote Observing Facilities Guidelines


            Remote Observing: Getting Started


Scheduling a Remote Observing Session


Per WMKO policy, remote Keck observing with instrument control requests
should be made not less than four weeks in advance of the allocated
observing nights; requests are made by sending a request email to
mainland_observing@keck.hawaii.edu, with a copy to
mainland_observing@astro.caltech.edu if Cahill ROF are to be used. WMKO
remote observing instructions, including information required in the request
message, are detailed at
http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/common/mainland_observing.html. Per
WMKO policy, remote Keck eavesdropping (i.e. no remote instrument
control) requests should be made not less than two weeks in advance of the
allocated observing nights. Eavesdropping requests are similarly made by
sending email to mainland_observing@keck.hawaii.edu, with a requested
copy to mainland_observing@astro.caltech.edu if Cahill ROF are to be used.
Remote participation requests with videocon only can be made at an
arbitrary time, and will be handled on a best-effort basis.


Approval of a Cahill ROF remote observing request is granted jointly from
both WMKO and Caltech COO, and is required to use the Cahill ROF. Please
note that all non-Caltech users will have to submit a signed Facilities Use
Agreement to use the ROF. Approved remote observers will receive an email
approval from COO assigning them a Cahill remote observing room (either
118 or 144 Cahill) for their remote observing session. If the status of a
pending request is unclear, users can request a status confirmation from
rof@astro.caltech.edu.




ROF Demo Appointments


                                                                               5
Pending approval of a remote observing request, a ROF
walkthrough/demonstration appointment (demo appointment) will be
scheduled for the Caltech business day immediately preceding the observing
date. For instance, if the observing date is on a weekday, then the demo
appointment will be scheduled for the preceding business weekday. If the
observing date is on a weekend, then the demo appointment will (normally)
be scheduled for the preceding Friday. Experienced remote observers may
elect to forgo the demo appointment, but all first-time ROF users are
expected and encouraged to attend the demo appointment.



Accessing the Remote Observing Facilities Rooms


Some ROF users may not be on the access list for Cahill ROF rooms. For
those individuals, ROF electronic key cards (keys) are available for
temporary checkout from COO. The business day preceding a remote
observing session it is incumbent upon the remote observer/participant to
pick up keys they may need to access the Cahill ROF. Checkout of electronic
keys to Cahill ROF is administered by Marcia Brown (128 Cahill;
mjb@astro.caltech.edu), or if Marcia is not available Anna Marie Hetman
(124 Cahill; amh@astro.caltech.edu). These keys will provide access to both
remote observing rooms (118 and 144 Cahill), the Cahill first floor hall fire
doors, and the Cahill main (East) door entrance/exit. Observers should keep
their keys on them at all times after 6pm when the building is locked.
Observers are fully responsible for any keys they checkout, and are expected
to return them to Marcia not more than three business days after their
observing session. A history of unreturned keys may be considered when
considering future ROF requests.




                                                                           6
Pre-Observing (Daytime & Nighttime) Tests &
  Coordination

There are two coordination tests that are often run before each Keck remote
observing session. The first continuity test is typically conducted at 3 or 4pm
pacific time. This test is used to verify the video (Polycom) and computer
(vnc, for instrument monitoring and/or control) connections are working
properly to support remote observing. New observer will be introduced to
the ROF during this test and should use it to ask any questions they may
have about remote observing.
 A second coordination meeting is often held at 4pm HST (7pm PST), and is
used to coordinate among Mauna Kea summit personnel, Waimea observers
and instrument support astronomers, and remote observers and participants.
Typically operations from the previous night, and any existing operational
issues are discussed, as is the general plan for the coming night’s
observations. Your assigned Keck support astronomer will advise you of the
tests and meetings you will need to attend as part of your remote observing;
remote observers will participate in both these meetings from their assigned
remote observing room.




                                                                             7
Using ROF Videoconferencing Equipment




Figure 2: 118 Cahill Videoconference Equipment

(NOTE: Presently only 118 Cahill has a dedicated Polycom unit; these
instructions pertain to that room. We expect to outfit 144 Cahill along these
lines in 2010.)
The Cahill ROF rooms have integrated videoconferencing equipment by
Polycom (http://www.polycom.com/), the standard selected for Keck
videoconferencing. ROF users will use this equipment to communicate with
personnel in Hawaii during (preparations for) remote observing. A
demonstration of how to use this equipment will be included in the demo
appointment in the previous section – users unfamiliar with this system are
encouraged to attend the demo appointment. Figure 2 shows an image of
the 118 Cahill/ROF1 polycom equipment in use during a multi-point
conference.

                                                                              8
The rocker power switch for the Polycom head unit (a Polycom Viewstation
MP) is located on the back left side (as viewed from the unit front). This
switch must be in the ON position for videoconferencing; please turn the unit
OFF when not in use.
The video display monitor is mounted on the wall in the ROF. The monitor’s
button power switch is located on the left bottom of the unit (as viewed from
the front). This switch must be in the ON position for videoconferencing;
please turn the monitor OFF when not in use.
Commonly used videoconference addresses (e.g. remote observing control
rooms for Keck 1 and Keck 2) are stored in the Polycom address book (a hard
copy is located in the back of this guide); these addresses can be retrieved
to initiate videoconference calls.
If remote observing is to be conducted in room 144 the Polycom and TV from
conference room 126 Cahill will be provided for use. The procedure for
running this unit is the same as described above.




                                                                            9
Keck Remote Observing via VNC




Figure 3: 118 Cahill Observing Computer During a Remote/VNC Session

Starting a Remote Instrument Control VNC Session


In order to remotely operate (or monitor) Keck instrumentation you will need
to access the instrument control programs from computers in the ROF.
WMKO uses VNC (Virtual Network Computing;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VNC) to map displays generated by instrument
control programs running at Mauna Kea to computer displays running in
WMKO HQ in Waimea or at “remote” locations such as Cahill ROF. In
addition, for offsite use Keck is understandably concerned that only
authorized users have access to these control programs and the computers
they run on.

                                                                          10
In order to establish a VNC connection for a Keck instrument from a Cahill
ROF computer, follow these steps:
STEP 1: Log on to the ROF instrument control computer (see Figure 3; i.e.
mugu in ROF1):


     username: xxxxx
     password: xxxxxx (see ROF support for username & password)




STEP 2: Open a terminal window (xterm or console, we will call this
“window1”; terminals can be open from the desktop by right clicking the
background and going to the utilities folder), and “cut” a hole in the WMKO
firewall for remote VNC access (on a specific WMKO computer (ip) through
port 259):

     > telnet 128.171.99.33 259
            username: xxxxxxx
          password: xxxxxx (see ROF support for username &
     password)

When logged-in correctly three options will appear;
      1) Standard Sign-on
      2) Sign-off
      3) Specific Sign-on
Choose option one (1; standard sign-on) to create the hole in the firewall.


STEP 3: Start the custom WMKO VNC session
In “window1” invoke the vnc instrument control script:




                                                                              11
     > kvncinst instrument account_number option




For options the user has the choice between active and passive mode. In
passive mode the user will see the same vnc display as the summit but will
not be able to interact with the windows. When left blank it will automatically
default to an active session.
The instrument and account number will be given by WMKO upon approval.
For example an active remote session involving lris would start as followed:



     > kvncinst lris lris11




The kvncinst script will open a series of (3—6) vnc windows on the ROF
computer, into each you must type the password ‘xxxxxx (see ROF support
for password)’. Note: if you make a mistake entering the password in any of
these windows you must go back to “window1” to kill the instrument control
script (cntrl-c), and restart step 3.
When observing is complete, shutdown VNC session by killing the vnc script
– perform cntrl-c in “window1”.



Starting a Keck Remote Telescope Monitoring VNC Session


In addition to direct instrument access, during observations it is often useful
to have visibility into the operations of the telescope. At WMKO telescope
parameters are monitored by means of the Facilities Summary, or FACSUM
utility (see http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/common/facsum.html) FACSUM

                                                                             12
access requires a VNC connection to WMKO from a Cahill ROF computer.
This can be accomplished as follows:
Open a (second) terminal window “window2” and repeat STEP 2 from §6a
above. To start the session run the telescope vnc script:



       > kvnctel instrument account_number option




The instrument and account number will be given by WMKO upon approval.
Observers will still have the option of a passive or active viewing session.
The kvnctel script will open a series of 3 vnc windows on the ROF computer;
into each you must type the password ‘xxxxxx (see ROF support for
password). Note: if you make a mistake entering the password in any of
these windows you must go back to “window2” to kill the instrument control
script (cntrl-c), and restart the ‘kvnctel’ process.
 When observing is complete, shutdown VNC session by killing the vnc script
– perform cntrl-c in “window2”.



Retrieving Data from Keck


To retrieve data to your own machine you can use the firewall hole method
to allow for sftp connections to WMKO from your computer (i.e. laptop).
Instructions for this firewall hole are given in step VII.2 above. From that
point your WMKO instrument support astronomer can advise you on where to
find your data, and you can retrieve it with another hole in the firewall.
1) In a terminal window open the WMKO firewall for access; type




                                                                          13
      >telnet 128.171.99.33 259
      Username: xxxxxxx
      Password: xxxxxx (see ROF support for username & password)



2) Using sftp…:


      sftp username@ohaiula.keck.hawii.edu
      Password: xxxxxx (see ROF support for username & password)




Ending a Remote Observing Session


To end remote vnc sessions simply do a control C command in ”window1”
(and “window2” if applicable). After ending the vnc session logout of the
remote observing computers. Please make sure that the power is off on the
Polycom and media display. If you will not be back during Caltech business
hours please leave your ROF keys in the drop box inside 118 or 144 Cahill.
In order to provide the best quality remote observing we ask that any
problems and or suggestions be sent to rof@astro.caltech.edu. Observers
should make sure to clean up after themselves when there session is over.



Keck Interferometer Remote Observing


The above instructions pertain to all Keck instrumentation except the Keck
Interferometer (KI; see also http://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/KI/). As of this
writing, KI remote observing support is still experimental and rapidly evolving. So
it’s likely that this material is either already out of date, or soon will be…




                                                                                      14
KI differs from other Keck instrumentation in that no user control of the instrument
is permitted. So the main remote interaction with KI is through videoconference
exchange with the KI operations team at Keck HQ/Waimea and the Mauna Kea
summit basement.

In addition to verbal interaction with the KI operations team, users will want to
access the KI real-time visibility tool, rtKvis (see http://ifplots.keck.hawaii.edu).
rtKvis access is exclusively through username/password authentication. The rtKvis
username is ‘ifplots’, but the required password is changed on a daily basis and
must be supplied by KI support personnel the day of observing.

Finally, opening Keck FACSUM can be accomplished by following the recipe in § 6b
above.



[User comments on this section are particularly encouraged…]




                                                                                   15
Useful Information


Random Remote Observing Resources


We can’t tell you how to observe your program or use your instrument of
choice, but we can provide you with some useful pointers that might make
that easier (all links can be found on the website
http://astro.caltech/remote_observing):
Start at http://keckobservatory.org/observing for observing information such
as instrument documentation and observing log sheets, exposure
calculators, and things that are instrument-specific. The Keck Telecope
schedule is available at
http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/observing/schedule/index.php .
The Mauna Kea Weather Center (http://hokukea.soest.hawaii.edu/ ) is your
source for all things weather related for the Mauna Kea summit.
Good sources for finding charts might be
IRSA/2MASS: http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/applications/FinderChart/)
Sloan: http://cas.sdss.org/astro/en/tools/chart/chart.asp


Nearest food and services:
In front of room 118 Cahill there is a full size refrigerator/freezer, microwave,
and coffee machine available for use to all remote observers.
Groceries: Vons/Pavilion 845 E California Blvd (near NW corner of Lake &
California)
Coffee: Starbucks 575 S Lake Ave (NW corner of Lake & California)
Fast Food: Subway Sandwiches 526 S Lake Ave (E-side of Lake, 1 block N of
Lake & California)
Heart Disease: Pie’n Burger 913 E California Blvd (quickly followed by
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angioplasty or other coronary intervention)
Online Delivery Service:


                                                                               16
http://www.LAbite.com ($20 minimum order but delivers from a wide variety
or restaurants)




Relevant Remote Observing Links


WMKO Mainland Observing Web Page:
     http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/common/mainland_observing.html
UC Berkeley Remote Observing Web Page:
     http://astro.berkeley.edu/facilities/keckremote/
UC Irvine Remote Observing Web Page:
     http://www.physics.uci.edu/~barth/remoteobserving/
Robert Kibrick’s Homepage:
     http://www.ucolick.org/~kibrick/
Cahill ROF Calendars:
     http://aries.caltech.edu/mrbs/month.php?room=24 (118 Cahill)
     http://aries.caltech.edu/mrbs/month.php?room=25 (144 Cahill)
Polycom Videoconferencing Information
     http://www.polycom.com/ &
     http://www.polycom.com/global/documents/support/setup_maintenanc
     e/products/video/viewstation_128_user_guide.pdf




                                                                       17
Keck I and II Observing Limits




Figure 4: Keck Telescope Sky Coverage

                                        18
Contact Numbers/Polycom IPs
To dial a long distance number press 9 follow by 1 and the number you wish to dial.
After entering your number you will need to enter a long distance code which will be
provided.

                                   Name                        Office #            Email
Caltech Remote Observing Support




                                                                                   (@astro.caltech.edu)

                                   Andy Boden                  X4035               bode

                                   Marcia Brown                X4013               mjb

                                   Patrick Shopbell            X4097               pls

                                   Richard Walters             X5780               rsw

                                   Mainland Observing                              mainland_observing
                                   Requests

                                   Remote Obs Facility                             rof
                                   Requests




                                   Name               Office 808/881- Email
Keck Support Astronomers




                                                                      (@keck.hawaii.edu)

                                   Randy Campbell     x3867            randyc

                                   Al Conrad          x3812            aconrad

                                   Scott Dahm         x3847            sdahm

                                   Bob Goodrich       x3869            rgoodrich

                                   Grant Hill         x3865            ghill

                                   Marc Kassis        x3669            mkassis

                                   Jim Lyke           x3673            jlyke

                                   Hien Tran          x3807            htran

                                   Greg Wirth         x3866            wirth

                                   Sam Ragland        x3516            sragland


                                                                                                   19
              Location                                   Polycom IP address
Polycom IPs




              Summit Keck I                              192.168.201.2

              Summit Keck II                             192.168.80.200

              Remote Ops Keck I                          128.171.99.71

              Remote Ops Keck II (primary)               128.171.99.72

              Remote Ops Keck II (birdseye)              128.171.99.73

              Palomar 200” Control Room                  198.202.125.211

              Palomar Conference Room                    198.202.125.199

              118 Cahill/ROF1                            131.215.193.47

              126 Cahill & !44 Cahill/ROF2               131.215.193.38




Miscellaneous


Time Difference:
The Keck telescopes are located in the Hawaii Standard Time zone which is -3 Hours
Pacific Daylight Time and -10 Hours Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Fire Alarm:
In the event of a fire alarm the remote observer is required to leave the building
until the alarm has ended or the fire department has given the all clear. You should
warn the summit of your situation.

What to do if you get Locked Out of the Remote Observing
    Facilities:
Remote observers should note that the ROF are locked at all times and can’t be
unlocked without a key. In the event that an observer is locked out of the ROF and

                                                                                  20
it is before 9pm on a weekday, locate Richard Walters in room 136 Cahill and he will
let you back in. If it is after 9pm you may try to locate an astronomy
graduate/faculty on the 2nd floor, their keys should work for both 118 and 144
Cahill.




                                                                                 21
Document Change Log
17 June v3.0 of the ROF Manual

27 June v3.0.1 added Palomar polycom addresses, some figure & captions, mods
from RSW

29 Jun v3.0.2 deleted redundant paragraph and formatted tables.

6 July 2009 v3.0.3 Added text boxes, and added KI remote observing section




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